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Getting loft insulation is at the top of my to-do list

Loft insulation

Everyone knows loft insulation can make your home more energy efficient and save you money. But did you know there’s a government scheme set to expire soon, and will you plug those drafts before it’s too late?

There’s a neglected place in my home where I should spend more time, devote some money and attention. But when it’s hot and when I can find anything else to do, I keep away.

Where is this place? It’s the loft. Where a couple of decades-worth of rubbish (aka stuff-that-we-may-want-one-day) has been dumped. Most of it is squeezed around the loft hatch, and the temporary light that we’ve rigged up means that I do not dare teeter further into the dark roof space, especially as I’m likely to put my foot through a ceiling.

How can loft insulation save you money?

But I really, really should go up there because I keep thinking that insulating that loft is becoming more of a priority. We are being bombarded with messages from the government and the energy industry about how we should insulate. And loft insulation, they say, is one of the cheapest and best ways to help cut down on energy bills.

Even if you have some loft insulation already you may have less than the recommended minimum of 270mm, so it would be worth a ‘top up’.

The warnings are right. Loft insulation could help save you up to £150 a year if you don’t already have any – and there are some great deals around at the moment.

The Big Six energy companies are offering discounts with installation costs starting from around £100 and the DIY shops are charging as little as £1 per square metre for insulation. Also, if you’re over 70 or receiving certain benefits you may even get it for free.

Get in quick before the deals are gone

Too good to be true? Not really, because we’re already paying for it! A government scheme called the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) makes us pay around £45 via our energy bills each year. This money is then used by energy companies to help provide cheaper insulation.

CERT finishes at the end of next year and so we should all get in quick while these good deals are around. And you don’t even need to use the energy company that supplies with your energy so you can shop around.

So now I’ve decided that I really, really am going to make the effort this summer. I’m preparing myself to venture up there and try and move my pile of ‘beloved mementos’.

The bin bags filled with clothes that I will never ever squeeze into again; the once hi-tech tape recorder covered in dust; and the bag of baby stuff with the expensive sheep skin which was accidently put in the tumble drier – not by me!

The benefit may be a winter where I don’t have to heat up so much fresh air and keep more heat inside my house. So it really is a win-win. Now all I have to do is fix the pole and hook so I can pull down the loft ladders and actually get up there…

Comments
Guest

i like insulation it good for the inviroment

Guest

you know.. you all sound pretty knowledgeable on this topic of heat loss via the loft.. but none of you ever agree on the same thing… in my opinion loft insulation is installed to reduce heat bills.. (which in most cases it does) and help reduce convection in your roof from stealing your heat… i am trying to do some coursework via this website… but it is impossible with everyone’s counter arguments, it would be nice if you all just agreed on one statement.. Thanks – John

Guest

and.. a lot of you seem to disagree with factual comments… that tend to make sense… having an opinion is good.. but disagreeing on everyone’s view is a bit biased of your own views…

Guest
Emmie says:
25 January 2013

I agree with tom, answer those questions, i obviously have the same science project as him.

Guest
Peter says:
14 August 2016

None of these types of report ever mention that I summer your house will boil and you will overheat. It happened to us and just do an Internet search and you see it’s s common problem. Sealing up a house and trapping heat in just makes summer unbearable. These ‘experts’ don’t understand about being comfortable.

Guest

I don’t think you are correct Peter in blaming the insulation for any overheating problem. In fact if you look at earlier comments you will see someone saying the precise opposite.

The problem I am sure is a lack of ventilation and the serious amount of solar gain from sunshine which has become prevalent with larger and larger windows being fitted. In early spring with my handheld infra-red thermometer [around £14] I have walls inside which the sun has raised to temperatures in the 20’s. Some of my windows are 6X8 feet so very large areas are being heated.

In Australia they understand solar gain very well and market solar defeating blinds. In Europe they use shutters and awnings to prevent heat build-up.

To compound the problem a lot of UK houses are being built to minimise draughts from the building and we as a race are not very good at opening windows in the early morning to get fresh cool air each day into the house. This cooler air and shading rooms with curtains and blinds may make a considerable difference.

Guest

Insulation cannot make your house overheat. It’s a physical impossibility – the laws of thermodynamics don’t allow it. All insulation does is reduce heat loss from the house. There are reasons who you might assume the house is overheating, but they’re nothing whatsoever to do with the insulation.

Simple strategy for keeping your house (relatively) cool in very hot weather:

1 Keep the upstairs (and any safe downstairs) windows open overnight.
2. Keep an eye on the inside and outside temperatures. When the temperature outside is within one degree of the inside temperature close all the windows.
3. Work out which area of the house gets the most sunlight and lock that off (if you can) during the hot hours.
4. Open all the windows when the outside temperature drops below the inside.
5. Grab a large bottle of whiskey and lie in the shade outside.

Guest

When the house gets too hot in the summer we open some windows. In the Middle East, old houses without air conditioning have a central roof tower that creates a cooling air flow.